2019 Short Film Competition

2019 Finalists announced November 15th

Next season opens December 15th, 2019.

2019 Announcements:
Finalists - November 15th
Winner & Runners-up - December 1st

2020 Season Opens December 15th

Winner Receives:
$5,000 toward film financing | industry circulation | additional development

The 2nd Annual Film Pipeline Shorts Competition seeks remarkable directors and diverse, engaging content--the type of work defined by forward-thinking perspectives and unconventional yet universally appealing stories.

For those who have undertaken the colossal task of producing their material, Film Pipeline has created a platform significantly different from the typical festival: selected entrants are given introductions to managers and agents for potential representation, one-on-one collaboration with Film Pipeline to develop or produce other scripts, and extended promotion of their short film or series pilot.

After two decades of discovering new projects through screenwriting, TV writing, and pitch competitions, Pipeline Media Group (PMG) brings a dynamic, hands-on process of industry facilitation to Film Pipeline. This allows both emerging and seasoned filmmakers a shot at financing and producing their work, as well as spotlighting their talents to garner interest from execs capable of advancing careers.

Winner and runner-up awarded:

  • $5,000 to winner; $1,000 split between two runners-up
  • Industry circulation to select partners, including agents and managers
  • Additional reviews of other shorts or scripts, with circulation consideration
  • Invitations to annual writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

- ABOUT FILM PIPELINE -

Launched in 2018, Film Pipeline searches for extraordinary directors, produced shorts, unproduced scripts, and other content from a growing field of talent worldwide. Filmmakers and writers discovered through ongoing annual competitions receive circulation assistance to agencies, managers, and executives on the lookout for the next wave of artists, with a sharp emphasis on inclusive storytelling and stylistic originality. Unlike a traditional festival, the company champions individual writers and directors, playing a central role in getting projects produced and distributed over the long-term.

Film Pipeline joins Script Pipeline (est. 1999) and Book Pipeline (est. 2014) as part of PMG’s suite of platforms connecting creatives with the film and TV industry. Across all three submission outlets, numerous writers and directors have produced their work, sold screenplays and pilots, set up projects at studios, and found representation due to the guidance of PMG’s development staff.

Grand Prize Winner - announced December 1st, 2019

  • $5,000
  • Immediate circulation to Film Pipeline industry partners

Runners-up (2) - announced December 1st, 2019

  • $1,000 total ($500 to each runner-up)

Finalists (up to 10) - announced November 15th, 2019

The Grand Prize Winner, Runners-up, and Finalists all receive the following:

  • Industry circulation to select partners, including agents and managers
  • Additional reviews of other shorts or scripts, with circulation consideration
  • Invitations to annual writer and industry events hosted by Pipeline Media Group

GUIDELINES

- Submission must be a standalone scripted short film, series pilot episode, or proof-of-concept. No limit on runtime.

- Any genre accepted, including non-narrative, or experimental shorts. Must be a scripted film.

- Link to the film preferred, but we'll also accept larger files via Dropbox or other file-sharing sites.

- If submitting a proof-of-concept intended to be expanded into a feature, entrants may also send supplemental info, such as a pitch, series outline, or full treatment of the story. Full screenplays are not accepted but may be entered into any open Script Pipeline competition.

RULES

  • Films co-written or co-directed are allowed. Only one person on the filmmaking team needs to register, be it the writer, director, or producer.
  • Non-exclusive: the film may have been screened or entered into festivals prior to or after entry. There are no restrictions if there was prior distribution.
  • No limit on the number of entries. Each entry is a separate fee.

View complete rules and guidelines

 

Pipeline Media Group has cultivated relationships with a number of production companies, managers, agents, directors, independent producers, and other executives over the past two decades, leading to several success stories annually.

Industry in the PMG network open to reviewing short films, feature or TV material, and unrepresented directors and writers includes:

In addition to over 100 other managers, producers, and agencies.

What are the deadline dates?

The next season opens December 15th, 2019.

Does this contest accept international entries?

Absolutely. Filmmakers worldwide are welcome to participate in this and any Film Pipeline, Script Pipeline, or Book Pipeline competition.

If my short has already screened at a film festival, is it still eligible?

Yes. As Film Pipeline is not a festival, we don’t have any restrictions on when and where the film was screened, or if it received distribution at any point.

How do I submit my short film?

Entrants may send a link during or after registration, or if the film is not available online, it can be sent via Dropbox or another file sharing site.

What kinds of short films do you accept?

All genres accepted, including non-narrative or experimental work. The film can be a standalone short or a proof-of-concept with plans to expand into a feature or series.

Can I submit a rough cut of my short film?

Rough cuts are fine to submit. Our criteria is primarily based on the storytelling, the premise, and the directing ability. If you do send a rough cut, please let our coordinator know after submitting so we can take that into account when judging.

Can I submit supplemental materials with my short film?

Yes, in fact we would encourage writers to include supplemental materials (synopsis, a director’s statement, etc.) along with the film. You can email those materials direct to our coordinator. There’s no formatting requirement for supplemental materials, but we’d prefer they be sent as a PDF.

Do I retain all the rights to my film after submitting?

All rights remain with the entrant, regardless of the final contest results. For circulation, material isn’t sent to anyone outside of Film Pipeline without the filmmakers’ consent.

Am I allowed to submit a different link or materials for the film after submitting?

Yes, we’ll accept updated materials any time, at no extra fee. We would need to receive the film and all supplemental info by the contest’s final deadline.

Contact our contest coordinator with any other questions.

Success stories from Pipeline Media Group's screenwriter and filmmaker contest winners. . . .

– PIPELINE MEDIA GROUP SUCCESS STORIES –

Tripper Clancy Sells Stuber and Multiple Specs to Studios

Contest winner Tripper Clancy signed with a Script Pipeline partner in 2009 before selling several specs.

A few months after the screenwriting competition ended, 20th Century Fox selected Tripper for their feature comedy writing team to help develop new material. Later, he was hired to write the animated feature Shedd for Paramount, the Amazon film High Five, the comedy Hacker Camp for Hasbro, and an adaptation of The Art of Fielding for Mandalay / IMG. He also sold additional specs The Ambassadors and Winter Break.

His first studio feature, Stuber (2019) sold in the mid-six figures. The action-comedy stars Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick, Silicon Valley), Mira Sorvino, and Betty Gilpin (Glow).

"The impact Script Pipeline had on my writing career is extraordinary. Winning the contest directly led to my new representation, which in turn led to working with studios such as 20th Century Fox and Paramount."
- Tripper Clancy (Stuber)

One of the Biggest Spec Sales in History from Script Pipeline Winner

After introductions by Script Pipeline to management, Evan Daugherty sold Snow White & the Huntsman to Universal for $3.25 million. It marked one of the biggest studio spec sales of all-time and subsequently turned Evan into one of the most in-demand writers in Hollywood. The film has grossed $450 million worldwide.

"Immediately after the competition, Script Pipeline introduced me to a manager, and the connection helped launch my screenwriting career."
- Evan Daugherty (Divergent)

Shortly following the contest win, Evan landed an assignment with Warner Bros. to rewrite the adaptation of He-Man, which led to the sale of Snow White.

Amongst selling a pilot pitch, as well as writing and producing roles with NBC's Midnight, Mass. and the series Five Ghosts, Evan wrote the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, produced by Michael Bay. Other studio projects: the adaptation of YA novel Divergent for Summit Entertainment, starring Shailene Woodley and Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet, the Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander, and Rose Red, based on an original script by Justin Merz and a pitch by Evan, which is in development with Vinson Films and Disney.

Script Pipeline Winner becomes Acclaimed Indie Hit

Henry Dunham's The Standoff at Sparrow Creek was produced with an ensemble cast featuring James Badge Dale (Rubicon), Brian Geraghty (The Hurt Locker), Happy Anderson (Mindhunter), Robert Armayo (Game of Thrones), and Gene Jones (The Hateful Eight). Dallas Sonnier, Jonathan Brownlee, and Amanda Presmyk served as producers.

The film premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by RLJ Entertainment. It was released in January 2019.

The project, originally titled Militia, won the 2015 Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition before being picked up by Cinestate. Writer Henry Dunham was connected with representation less than a month after contest results were announced, signing with Pipeline industry partner Lit Entertainment and UTA.

"Without the momentum my win gave me, I don’t know where my screenplay would be. I owe Script Pipeline for everything."
- Henry Dunham (writer/director, The Standoff at Sparrow Creek)

Top critics praised Henry's directorial debut:

"Shows pulpy promise and is a step ahead of its genre peers." - The Hollywood Reporter

"A pitch perfect example of low-budget craft." - Birth. Movies. Death.

"Deafens through sensationalized silence. . . . You’re not supposed to feel safe or comfortable, precisely as Henry Dunham plans." - Slash Film

And Rolling Stone selected Standoff as one of the top 10 films to see in January 2019.

Robert De Niro Stars in Script Pipeline Contest-Winning Screenplay

The Script Pipeline contest-winning screenplay Shrapnel by Evan Daugherty was turned into the film Killing Season, starring Robert De Niro and John Travolta. Corsan and Millennium Films helmed the action/thriller and rehashed the original plot during development.

It was the first Script Pipeline competition winner to get produced.

– Other Notable PMG Success Stories –

  • TV Writing Competition Runner-up Laura Bensick (The Mother) sold her show Everyday Insanity to Fox in 2019. Sterling K. Brown and Ken Olin (This is Us) producing. Laura signed with UTA shortly after placing in the 2016 Script Pipeline season.
  • Screenwriting winner Peter Malone Elliott (Junior) signed with manager Zach Book. Peter's biopic on Frank Sinatra Jr. was hailed as one of the best true story screenplays Script Pipeline ever reviewed. He wrapped production on his first feature, Wired Shut, in 2019 and has multiple other film and TV scripts in development.
  • Searching, written by Sev Ohanian and Aneesh Chaganty (Screenwriting Competition finalists and winners of the First Look Project), premiered at Sundance and was quickly picked up by Sony for $5 million. Sev previously co-produced The Intervention and Fruitvale Station. The film is Aneesh’s feature directorial debut. Their next feature, Run, produced by Lionsgate, premieres in 2020.

"Film Pipeline somehow understood the idiosyncratic, hybrid tone of our script better than anyone. The fact that they could hear our partnership’s original voice on the page was very reinvigorating at a pivotal time on our creative path, and pushed us to stick to our guns rather than pander to more 'accessible' sensibilities."
- Spencer Mandel & Dikega Hadnot, Film Pipeline Winners (Little Brother)

  • Chrissy Metz (This is Us) to star in Will O Wisp, written by Script Pipeline Screenwriting Contest finalist Evan Cooper. Evan previously placed in the competition with the thriller Ballerina Girl. He’s repped by manager Kailey Marsh and UTA.
  • Andy Tennant (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) is set to direct the Script Pipeline finalist screenplay Everything's Gonna Be Okay, written by Jen Goldson. It will be Jen's third produced film after meeting execs at the Script Pipeline writer/industry event, joining the romcom Off the Menu, directed by Jay Silverman and starring Santino Fontana (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and Dania Ramirez (Devious Maids), and the thriller Snatched, produced by Nasser Entertainment.
  • Howard Jordan (Family Be Like), runner-up in the TV Writing Competition, signed with Madhouse Entertainment and Paradigm. He wrote for the CBS sitcom Superior Donuts until 2018, moving on afterward in 2019 to Netflix's Family Reunion and CBS' The Unicorn.
  • Screenwriting Contest finalist Max Martini directed his feature Will Gardner starring Martini in the lead role alongside an all-star cast including Elisabeth Röhm (American Hustle), Lily Rabe (American Horror Story), Dermot Mulroney (August: Osage County), and Gary Sinise (CSI: NY).
  • Dragon Run, written by Bradley Stryker, was optioned by Pop Art Film Factory and producer Daniel Zirilli. The script placed in the top 10 of the Screenwriting Competition.
  • After extensive development through Script Pipeline's Workshop, Eddie Mensore produced his gripping drama Mine 9, released in 2019. The film won top honors for Best Film at Cinequest and The Arizona International Film Festival.
  • Kevin Jones, winner of the Great TV Show Idea Competition and a three-time Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition finalist, signed with management after extensive development with Script Pipeline's senior execs, who helped turn his contest-winning pitch into a pilot script. The project was shopped to major networks, which secured numerous meetings for Kevin.
  • Writers Burke Scurfield and Adam Lederer signed with manager Drew Shenfield at Mosaic. Their comedy pilot, Big Boy, was circulated by Script Pipeline to Mosaic execs after the script's top 10 placement in the Script Pipeline TV Writing Competition.
  • Director Scott Speer (Midnight Sun) is set to helm Script Pipeline finalist and "Recommend" writer Greg Wayne's dark romcom S21. Catapult and Needle's Eye producing.
  • The Devil in Evelyn, winner of the First Look Project (Teleplay), was picked up for development by Mandalay Entertainment. Script Pipeline set up the writers, brothers Ben and Tyler Soper, with meetings after extensive circulation to Pipeline's industry network.

"Placing as a finalist brought me into the Film Pipeline family and has opened up a network of support for me as both a director and a writer. It's been invigorating to have some great people read my scripts and pass them to appropriate people that may help with the journey. It's energizing to know Film Pipeline is on your side supporting you through the long-haul."
- Jerell Rosales, Film Pipeline Finalist (These Things Take Time)

  • Screenwriting winner Tyler Burton Smith (Henchman) wrote the reboot for Child's Play released in 2019 and has multiple film and TV projects in development.
  • First Look Project contest winner Besa on track for production—Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) directing. Written by Michael Miceli, the crime/thriller won the Adaptation category for the inaugural First Look season and was later optioned by Cecil Chambers of Triumphant Pictures.
  • Nir Paniry's Princesses to be produced by Grey Matter Productions and Pascal Pictures. Joachim Røenning (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales) directing. Nir placed second in the Script Pipeline contest with his action screenplay The Coyote.
  • Craig Weeden and veteran comic writer/inker Jimmy Palmiotti (Ultimate Spider-man, Jonah Hex) optioned an adaptation of Painkiller Jane to Solipsist Films (Sin City: A Dame to Kill For). Craig placed in the top 10 of the Screenwriting Competition and is a Script Pipeline "Recommend" on other features.
  • Six years after winning the Screenwriting Competition, Debbie Chesebro and Tyson FitzGerald optioned their screenplay Prom Queen to Classy Films as a result of Script Pipeline's long-term facilitation.
  • Android, written by Script Pipeline "Recommend" Matt O’Reilly, attached Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad, The Path). Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) also set to co-star in the sci-fi/thriller. Niall Johnson (White Noise) directing, with Infinite Studios and Picture Films producing.
  • Precious Cargo, a finalist in the Script Pipeline Screenwriting Competition written by Max Adams, was produced. The film stars Bruce Willis, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, and Claire Forlani.
  • Script Pipeline "Recommend" Micah Barnett sold Ricochet, a one-hour drama, to NBC a few years after finding management with a Script Pipeline industry contact.

"Being selected as a finalist for Film Pipeline was a truly unexpected but pleasant surprise. . . it still feels great to be embraced and recognized by Pipeline for my accomplishments."
- David Bornstein, Film Pipeline Finalist (A King's Betrayal)

  • The Living Wake, Script Pipeline's first produced film, starring Academy Award nominee Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and comedian Mike O'Connell, was released theatrically in 2010, eliciting from Variety: "A stunning feature debut. . . . Eisenberg is note-perfect. Supporting ensemble couldn’t be more colorful."
  • Brian Watanabe's "Recommend" script Operation Endgame was produced with Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover), Adam Scott, Ellen Barkin, Ving Rhames, Maggie Q, Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), and an ensemble cast. Script Pipeline CEO and producer Chad Clough brought the screenplay to Sean McKittrick (Get out, Us) at Darko Entertainment.
  • Screenwriter Rob Nelms was hired to pen the script Between after introductions to a director by Pipeline's Chad Clough. The film premiered at Sundance and later aired on Lifetime.
  • The first major success for Script Pipeline: Screenwriting Contest winner Slammin' by Aaron Metchik and Joseph Garner sold to Warner Bros. for six-figures in 2003. They were the first Script Pipeline writers to sell a spec for over six-figures.

Over the course of 20 years, many other writers have optioned their work, found paid writing jobs, produced their films, and garnered management or agency representation through Pipeline Media Group's exhaustive process of industry facilitation.